Word 2013: "Word could not re-establish a DDE connection to Microsoft Excel"

Recently upgraded from Office 2010 to 2013.  All of a sudden (3 days ago) I started getting an error that reads "Word could not re-establish a DDE connection to Microsoft Excel"

 

I have an excel spreadsheet that contains inventory information and I use Word to access that spreadsheet to print price tages.  Have never had an issue until now.

 

Process is to open the Word document which then gets the source data from Excel.  Word is open and Excel is closed.  Worked fine and until 3 days ago worked fine in 2013.

 

Now I get the error unless I open Excel first - just the app, not the source file.  When Excel is open all works fine.

 

Anyone else having an issue?

 

Also having a "just started" issue in Quickbooks Pro 2013 accessing an Excel 2013 file.  Works fine with Excel 2010 but won't work with 2013.

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Answer
Answer

The DDE method of connecting to a data source is "ancient" technology that does cause the workbook to be opened in Excel.

 

The default nowadays is to use the ADOB Database method of connecting and the method can be selected in Word by checking the box for "Confirm file format conversion on open" under File>Options>Advanced in the General section of the dialog.  Then when you attach the data source to the mail merge main document, a dialog box will open in which you can select the method by which the connection is made.

 

Aside from that , in my expanding list of issues with 2013, I have:

 

Quote

 

For the error message "There was a problem sending the command to the program", use Windows Explorer to access the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15 folder and right click on WINWORD.EXE then on Properties, go to the Compatibility tab and uncheck all the boxes.  It has also been reported that the problem can be overcome by editing the registry at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.12\shell\Open and deleting the ddeexec key.

The ddeexec can also be deleted from

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.DocumentMacroEnabled.12\shell\Open.

That fix is described at ...

http://www.dilloway.co.uk/there-was-a-problem-sending-the-command.html

Unquote

 

As you are experiencing a DDE issue, it could be something similar to the above.

 

Here is the complete list of issues\fixes that I have accumulated:

 

Refer to the following website for information on repairing Office 2013\365:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project-help/repair-or-remove-office-2010-HA010357402.aspx

A lot of problems with Office 2013 are caused by third party (non-Microsoft) applications.  This is my (expanding) list of things to try when Office 2013\365 won’t start or crashes:

See Office 2013 install woes - http://office-watch.com/t/n.aspx?a=1834

See the KnowledgeBase article “Office 2013 applications crash on launch at the splash screen” at:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2813143

Or see the KnowledgeBase article Error: “Something went wrong and we can't sign you in right now” when trying to install Office 2013 at:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2811180/en-us/

Also see my response in

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2013_release-word/microsoft-word-2013-has-stopped-working/67b81016-849f-481a-bce5-bf04797ac03b

Do you have Abbyy Finereader installed on the PC? A number of people have reported that removing it overcomes problems with 2013

Do you have “Fun Tools” add-in? A number of people have reported that removing it overcomes problems with 2013

Do you have Toshiba Book Reader installed on the PC?  It has been reported that uninstalling that brings Office back to working status.

Do you have the Acrobat PDFMaker add-in.  It has been reported that uninstalling that overcomes an issue with a message appearing that states "The document contains macros. Macro support for this application is disabled. Features requiring VBA are not available. Would you like to open this document as a read only?"

Also see:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2013_release-word/microsoft-word-has-stopped-working-when-i-close/8375b5b6-4f7e-46ed-a02b-90152ecad287#LastReply and

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_home-word/word-and-excel-2013-crashing-on-windows-7/5389390c-e989-4c8e-8fe0-62673f1410ce?page=4#LastReply

It appears that there may be some hardware incompatibilities as well.  If you have the NVIDIA driver
NVWGF2UM.DLL, try renaming it as: NVWGF2UM.old as was mentioned in:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2013_release-word/microsoft-word-has-stopped-working-when-i-close/8375b5b6-4f7e-46ed-a02b-90152ecad287#LastReply

See:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_365hp-word/office-2013-crashes-with-canon-8350-printer/e2bf6530-92e0-47ef-b6ec-e803a91793d0?page=3#LastReply

From the File tab, select Options and then click on Advanced and then in the Display section of the dialog, check the box for Disable hardware graphics acceleration

For the error message "There was a problem sending the command to the program", use Windows Explorer to access the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15 folder and right click on WINWORD.EXE then on Properties, go to the Compatibility tab and uncheck all the boxes.  It has also been reported that the problem can be overcome by editing the registry at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.12\shell\Open and deleting the ddeexec key.

The ddeexec can also be deleted from

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.DocumentMacroEnabled.12\shell\Open.

That fix is described at ...

http://www.dilloway.co.uk/there-was-a-problem-sending-the-command.html

It has been reported that uninstalling FastPictureView and FastPictureViewer Pro… overcomes the issue of the Minimize, Maximize, Close and Help buttons not being visible in Office 2013.

Hope this helps,
Doug Robbins - MVP Office Apps & Services (Word)
dougrobbinsmvp@gmail.com
It's time to replace ‘Diversity, Equity & Inclusion’ with ‘Excellence, Opportunity & Civility’ - V Ramaswamy

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Last updated January 13, 2021 Views 22,159 Applies to: